Project to highlight threats, conservation opportunities at the Philippines Danajon Bank
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Online crowdfunding will be a big part of a new international effort to draw attention to a rare double-barrier reef in the Philippines, where an international team of scientists and nature photographers will team up to advocate for legal protection for the Danajon Bank.
“Not many people have heard of Danajon Bank. We plan to change that,” said Prof. Amanda Vincent, director of Project Seahorse, a University of British Columbia Zoological Society of London initiative. “Crowdfunding is a fantastic way to raise funds and inspire the public to take ownership of issues such as marine conservation, so we thought: why not start there?” she said.
“There really is no better way to communicate the urgent need for marine conservation than through images that hit you in the head and the heart,” said Thomas P. Peschak, an International League of Conservation Photographers Fellow and one of the expedition photographers. His résumé includes multiple BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year and World Press Photo awards.
“We hope to inspire people and policymakers in the Philippines and around the world to take up our cause.”
The four-week, $30,000 crowdfunding campaign is online at www.indiegogo.com/projects/expedition-danajon-bank. The expedition will take place April 5-15, 2013.
The Danajon Bank is one of of only six double-barrier reefs in the world. It’s considered to be an important evolutionary birthplace of fish and other animal species found all over the Pacific Ocean today. However, Danajon Bank suffers from overfishing and other human pressures, and is home to nearly 200 threatened species.
Danajon Bank encompasses many of our oceans’ most important and threatened marine habitats, including not only coral but mangroves and seagrasses. Its biodiversity, and the threats it faces from human activity, make it a powerful example of the beauty of the world’s coastal marine ecosystems and the threats they face in the 21st century.
Beginning in June, the photographs will be shown in a series of public exhibitions in Chicago, Hong Kong, Manila and London and published in a new book.